So the week 1 preseason games have concluded and we now have something to look at. First off the easiest aspect to see is that the underdogs took the week 11-6 for a 64.7% winning percentage. That’s a very good winning percentage, although how much it means has yet to be determined. You see of course I like that the underdogs dominated the week as far as winning as that is what I was hoping for, but there has yet to be a game where the points given to an underdog has been the difference in the game. Every winning underdog team have won their games outright. So basically not one game this week did the point spread play any factor. The underdog winners won without needing help from the points given, which in turn means all the favorite winners covered the spread in winning their games.
I believe this comes from the absolute lack of information on the team playing statistics as well as the average bettor not flooding the house on the first week of preseason. The average point spread for all of week 1’s underdogs was only +3.47. That really means to me that the lines makers as well as the betting public played the first week pretty safe. I fully expect now that the public as well as the books have seen all the teams in action now the lines will be a little more diverse. I still don’t expect the lines to be huge, but last week there was no line over 4 points for any given game. This week I believe it may go as high as 6 or 7, and I believe that will be a benefit to the underdog given my theory of fairly evenly matched non starting rosters for each team.
Now with all this being said there were a few things I could not help but notice in watching the games. As my underdog wagering theory is not based on actual in game analysis, and just flawed line placement, my game observations are just that and I will try to not let it effect the study of it. However, there are certain things in game that have jumped out at me. The more skilled and the better established to be a good teams follows the mold fairly exact in pulling starters very early in the game and allowing the non starters play about 3.5 of the 4 quarters. There are the other teams however that are planning to start the season with a rookie or untested young quarterback, that are leaving them in for very extended periods of time. This can have a profound effect on game outcomes with very small point spreads, but I have yet to determine if it will matter once the spreads get larger. After all, some of these so called “starters” may not be in a few weeks and could possibly be no better than the lower tier players they’re going up against. Even if these prolonged starter type teams were putting out a higher level of play for longer periods of the game, my tendency would be more to avoid that game altogether than try to move away from the underdog betting theory. Its hard enough to handicap players and teams that start and play every week for 17 weeks, I would not even attempt to assign an advantage or disadvantage to any team based on what I see on a few extra minutes of play in an exhibition game. So possibly in the future as the teams intentions with starters becomes more obvious, I may just eliminate that game from the wagering board altogether. The first games of week 2 are this Thursday so as the games get closer I will examine the lines to see if any games may possibly be pulled off the board for us. As always I will remind those reading, when I say “wagering” here it is meant in the theoretical sense, in no way am I making any real predictions or offering betting tips on theses preseason games. This is just an attempt at gathering information for possible future use.
Another aspect of the games caught my attention this week as well. Something that really doesn’t pertain to the underdog betting theory. The game totals were on the over side in 12 out of 17 games. That is over 70.5%. Again not sure what this tells us yet, but my theory on it is the offenses are ahead of the defenses in at least the beginning of preseason. That would stand to reason as offenses need to work on instilling a plan while the defense needs to work on reacting to it. It is harder to get reaction speed up to par as quick so maybe this may be something to look at, at least for the first couple of games anyway. Just kind of sharing observations here, not sure if any have merit yet.
Up to date results:
Week 1: Underdogs won 11 lost 6
Year to date: 11-6
Winning percentage: 64.7%
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